January 1, 2016

I liked 2015. It was a nice, balanced number. I feel indifferent about 2016. It doesn’t look like a particularly auspicious number. Happily, I gave up on any kind of superstitious or magical thinking a long time ago. Looking at it though, I don’t like the number 6. I’ll just have to deal with that as best I can.

2015 was not a good year for me. To be frank, it was really rubbish. I’m struggling to come to grips with the idea that nothing I wanted to achieve at the beginning of last year came to fruition. Failure is tough. It hasn’t been good for my self esteem or sense of self.  2015 was a year of trying new things and those new things just not working out for me at all.

 

Stuff I Tried That I Was Terrible At:

  • Formal social groups
  • Project Management
  • Co-hosting a radio show
  • Volunteering
  • Compassion toward idiots
  • Putting up with idiocy
  • Not judging people as idiots
  • Leaving the house
  • Being more assertive

 

However, there are a couple of things that saved 2015 from being utterly bereft of hope.

 

Stuff I Tried That Worked Out:

  • Making new friends
  • Listening more
  • Moments of spontaneity
  • Being more assertive

 

That ‘being more assertive’ appears on both lists is no mistake. It’s a work in progress. I’m getting used to speaking up, speaking my mind and making sure I get what I need. I’m also reacting a lot more, especially when people say or do inappropriate or offensive things that relate to me having disabilities. It’s trickier than it might seem and I’m trying to figure out how to be assertive without feeling like an arsehole.

‘Stuff I Tried That I Was Terrible At’ taught me a great deal about myself. Mainly that I am very good at sabotaging my own success and I have a weird perversion that makes me gravitate towards things that do not play to my strengths. Also, I need to be pickier about what I involve myself in long term because even the smallest of projects can derail other more worthwhile, satisfying and meaningful plans.

Perhaps the biggest lesson I can take away from last year, if I must, is that when people begin to pull back on what they require from me, or I feel like nobody needs me anymore, and people’s expectations of what I am capable of diminish, I can’t just roll with it.

It can be soul destroying knowing that people don’t expect as much from you as they once did, for whatever reason. I have decided to expect more from myself to combat the feeling. I have to really think about what it is I am capable of and go for it. I have to believe in myself and my own capabilities and decide to do better, not because it might make others think better of me but because it will absolutely make me feel better about myself.

‘Stuff I Tried That Worked Out’ might be a shorter list but I’m pleased with it. In a year that was, on the whole, one of my worst, there have been little rays of light that make me hopeful for 2016. They are all things I can work on and that make me look back and realise 2015 was not a total disaster.

It wasn’t a good year but it is entirely possible I’m a better person for it. That will have to do.

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